According to the Tennessean, a fevered battle has erupted between Democrats and Republicans over balloting in next year's election, as both sides vie for a leg up in a vote that could determine which party controls state government for a generation.
Democrats say the GOP is trying to give itself an advantage in the 2010 races, in which Tennesseans will pick a new governor and decide which party controls the closely divided state legislature.
But Republicans say that Democrats are politicizing routine actions and that their complaints now are really intended to raise doubts about the election beforehand, just in case they lose next year.
"They're being shrill on this issue," said Chris Devaney, chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party.
The fights show how high the stakes will be in next year's election. The winner will be able to redraw legislative districts — both for the state House and for the state's delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives.
"How people are districted very much determines which side has a majority," said John Vile, a political scientist at Middle Tennessee State University.
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